JP Schmack is onto something.
Every conference with a few powerhouse teams needs to have a few patsies to help the powerhouse teams "pad their record".
So the BE should focus on:
a) nice TV market for FOX
b) Catholic schools with similar "mission"
c) track record of the school to play crappy ball for extended periods
The college presidents need to understand that their own W-L record depends upon the weaklings' [in-conference] L-W records.
It's not just "crappy catholic school with fans" though. You don't want "crappy." You want CRAPPY IN CONFERENCE, BUT KNOWS HOW TO SCHEDULE OOC.
Duquesne & Bona are perfect. They bridge the gap between midwest and east. They bring the Pitt/Erie/Buffalo/Rochester region.
Duquesne is borderline terrible, but Bona's been solid post-scandal.
Yeah, I'm clearly a Bona homer who wants $5 million in TV loot for my team.
But Bona's OOC has also been exactly what the Big East needs.
The Big East was 94-31 OOC this past season. But they'd be dumping two conference games for non-conference games. So they buy two more games each against terrible teams and win 'em all.
Which means Bona/DUQ need to win at least 16 games OOC to raise the Big East's OOC win pct of .7520… and they did! (8-5 DUQ; 10-4 Bona). So that's 123-40 (.7546)
But dropping from 18 to 16 increases the SOS for the conference games no matter what.
So they come our way further ahead:
-- East/West schedule matrix (DUQ West; Bona East)
-- DUQ finishes 12th at 2-14 (split with DEP/BUT)
-- Bona goes 4-12 (Wins over DUQ, DEP, BUT, SHU)
Providence: 25-11 on Selection Sunday
Xavier: 23-10 on Selection Sunday
St. John's: 22-10 on Selection Sunday
Georgetown: 19-12 on Selection Sunday
Marq: 19-13 on Selection Sunday
That's probably a six bid league.
And Dayton now has to play two more games, and might lose to UMass, VCU, GW once and be left out.